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#99809 - 09/14/06 06:57 PM Building your own Circuit breaker boxes vs Code
tajoch Offline

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 53
Loc: Quinlan texas, usa
We have alot of out dated and Tx redneck power installs in my facility, but the one that makes me question just what they're thinking, is that it's the maintenance policy that they are now (get this) you have a 480Vac 3ph circuit, going to multiple fuzed disconnects. with a hoffman box, w/ din rail 3 ph circuit breakers. Because, (So I was told) it's cheaper then buying and installing an actual 480V ckt brkr panel.
I was in a conumdrum, cause I have built a similar type 120v panel in my shop/shed at my house, w/ a few differences, I installed a main on my (homemade) breaker panel, which they aren't doing. I flat out told my boss, (a senior mechanical engineer) that "I couldn't see any city electrical inspector ever approving such a set up, let alone, the fact that the install is limited and self defeating".
While it is a step up, from what was there, it's not a step in the right direction.....
What do Ya'll think of this?

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#99810 - 09/14/06 10:21 PM Re: Building your own Circuit breaker boxes vs Code
macmikeman Offline

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 718
Loc: Honolulu, Hawaii
I think it is not listed equipment, therefore not allowed for this particular useage.

#99811 - 09/15/06 02:59 PM Re: Building your own Circuit breaker boxes vs Code
wa2ise Offline

Registered: 11/29/02
Posts: 773
Loc: Oradell NJ USA
I'd think that there would be some libility issues with OSHA regulations (big fines) and insurance companies not paying claims with homemade equipment. It would be, in the long run, cheaper and better to have a licensed EC do the upgrades and have it inspected. Call it "CYA"...

#99812 - 09/15/06 04:26 PM Re: Building your own Circuit breaker boxes vs Code
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5305
Loc: Blue Collar Country
What you describe is not at all unusual; in several instances I have recieved such panels from the manufacturer of the equipment I'm installing.

Now, that said, listing can be an issue. UL allows panel makers to produce listed panels as "certified panel shops." This is especially important when every panel is a custom panel. UL also has the ability to certify an individual panel- you'ld have to call them for details.

If nothing else, you ought to find out which UL standards apply, and review them. If you can demonstrate that you have considered them in your design, most concerns should be eliminated.

I do find it hard to accept that a home-built panel would be cheaper than one that is produced by a factory, in the thousands. I can't help but feel there is something being left out of the description.

#99813 - 09/19/06 05:44 PM Re: Building your own Circuit breaker boxes vs Code
tajoch Offline

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 53
Loc: Quinlan texas, usa
Reno: To clarify the cost issue, I recently talked my boss into having a 3ph 480vac panel installed, to replace some daisey chained disconects. Cost to yank the disconnects, install and wire the panel, $1800.00 In a one shot bill. the cost for building the panel can be carried over a short period of time and just added to the general maintenance charges/funds..... It sounds like legal chicanery to me, and I don't approve, but until he and the other guy retire or get replaced the homemade panels will probably stay the way they are,
I recently talked my boss into buying a quality circuit tracer, and have waded into the process of diagraming the power distribution system of the plant. They were(are) very big into having one circuit breaker at the main feeding upwards of 10 or more dissconects..........
Talk about a mess to troubleshoot, not to mention that they keep talking about all the power issues that we


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